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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello 3si,

I have a 95 NA DOHC with 130k miles (original engine to my knowledge). Timing belt, water pump, etc. done at 120k (continental).

Am I missing any parts to do a head gasket job?
Should I expect to have to have my heads resurfaced?
Will I have to remove my cams to access the head bolts?
3rd gen lifters... worth it? Will they mess with my oil systems pressure?
Should I replace anything else while I am there?
Any advice?

294369


I am pretty much positive my head gasket is leaking (although I do need to do some more investigating). I was doing an oil change the other day. I crank the engine over a few times to build pressure bc I am anal. When I fire up the car... sniff sniff... something smells sweet! Not to mention I have been having some odd overheating issues when going up hills at low rpms(peak load) and my coolant seems to be disappearing. I will do some more investigating just to make sure I am not wasting my time but the sweet exhaust smell makes me pretty darn sure. That being said the car is operating fine and has even been to 1 or 2 track days since these symptoms started. The coolant O-ring (pipe to engine rear) is also leaking I believe which could be an overheating cause but I am leaning toward the head gasket.

I was going to buy some BC coilovers or Tein lowering springs but life happens I guess.
 

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You will need some way to tension the timing belt tensioner pulley. 3sx sells a tool that I found more than worth it, or there are various diy tools people have made. Since you will be pulling the whole timing system apart I would definitely inspect everything thoroughly for wear, no matter how recent the last timing service.
As far as head surfacing goes, it is very inexpensive and the MLS gasket needs a near flawless surface. I would have it surfaced, and make sure the shop you use can meet the finish requirements. The block surface just needs to be immaculately clean.
Many head gasket leaks can be diagnosed very easily with a simple leak down test and oil/coolant change. No need to go pulling off the heads without being 100% sure you have a gasket failure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You will need some way to tension the timing belt tensioner pulley. 3sx sells a tool that I found more than worth it, or there are various diy tools people have made. Since you will be pulling the whole timing system apart I would definitely inspect everything thoroughly for wear, no matter how recent the last timing service.
As far as head surfacing goes, it is very inexpensive and the MLS gasket needs a near flawless surface. I would have it surfaced, and make sure the shop you use can meet the finish requirements. The block surface just needs to be immaculately clean.
Many head gasket leaks can be diagnosed very easily with a simple leak down test and oil/coolant change. No need to go pulling off the heads without being 100% sure you have a gasket failure.
Thanks for the reply. I will surely look into that. How much should I expect to pay for resurfacing 2 heads? (Just so I know if I am getting ripped off)

Should I have my valves re-seated while the heads are at the shop? How much would that cost roughly?

BTW, I play on leaving the engine in the car. I just replaced engine mounts and don't want to tear it apart.
 

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Having just done the heads on my tt last winter . Pulling the motor out to do it makes it way easier and there not that hard to pull out . I also bought the cam lockers and they dont work all that well i just used metal paper clip things to hold the belt where i wanted it . The timing tool for the tensioner is a very good deal and dont forget to put the pin in the tensioner before you loosen the belt . The lifters are a good choice and just make it less likely to have lifter noise .Your also going to need the coolant housing gasket and oring when doing the heads .
 
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